Can I get government help to access work?

Yes. The Access to Work scheme (ATW), run by the Employment Service, provides financial assistance towards some of the extra costs of employing you if you have a disability. It is available to employed, unemployed and self-employed people, and can apply to any job, full- or part-time, permanent or temporary.

Support available includes:

  • a communicator at job interviews for people with a hearing impairment;
  • a reader for someone who is blind, or has a visual impairment;
  • special equipment, or alterations to existing equipment;
  • alterations to premises or to the working environment; and
  • travel-to-work costs.

Applications for support under ATW are available from the Disability Employment Adviser in the Disability Support Team at your local JobcentrePlus. If you are unhappy with the support provided, you can ask the support team to review its decision. Outside agencies, such as the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), provide advice on adaptations, and on appeals if you are unhappy with a decision.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.